VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — At the last Vigo County Council meeting, the council took action by approving Rose-Hulman Ventures’ request for half a million dollars in ARPA funds to go toward a 14-million-dollar project ultimately relocating Rose-Hulman Ventures to campus.

Innovation Grow is a project Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s (RHIT) President said was started a couple of years ago.

When asked about the concept, Rose-Hulman’s President gave details on the goal.

“To relocate Rose-Hulman Ventures,” RHIT’s President Rob Coons said. “Which is currently about six miles south of campus.”

Back in 2017, Rose-Hulman acquired 11 hundred acres across the street. That property is known as The Hulman Farm.

“That property runs from State Road 46 to Hunt Road along State Road 42 and that entire area I think lends itself to development,” Coons said. “The southwest corner of that are plans are to move Rose Hulman Ventures to that corner. This from a location perspective will be really helpful.”

Southwest corner of State Road 46 and State Road 42 – Future home of Rose-Hulman Ventures

What is Rose-Hulman Ventures?

“Rose Hulman Ventures has been a premiere program of ours for several years since it was established in 2000. A number of students take advantage of that during the academic year and in the summer.”

It gives students hands-on engineering experience working with real companies. Companies that continue trusting Rose-Hulman with their needs.

The Project, Coons said will be a Rose-Hulman’s version of what a tech park might look like. With a Rose-Hulman experience in focus.

“Right now, it’s about a 14-million-dollar project to build that building and equip it properly. And then we’ll be relocating Rose Hulman Ventures into that space,” Coons said.

Part of that 14 million project total will come from ARPA funds. The Vigo County Council approved half a million dollars.

“The ARPA funds is really a tough thing for us on the council to do because I personally struggled with the fact that it’s a private entity, private college that is a very expensive college to go to,” Vigo County Council President Todd Thacker said. “But we’re looking at the economic impact and other possible ventures and we want to show people in Terre Haute that we want to expand.”

It’s all part of Rose Hulman’s project-based education, with an economic impact on the community.

“I think there’s a nice opportunity here to think about economic development as another byproduct of what we’re doing at Rose Hulman Ventures,” Coons said.

“It shows our commitment to our different higher education,” Thacker said.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity for Rose Hulman to not only expand what we do at Ventures but to partner with the community. And I think there’s some nice ancillary benefits from an economic development perspective that will continue to materialize as we start to develop that property,” Coons added.

As for the timeline, Coons said they’re in the middle of the application process with the Economic Development Authority Nationally.

“Our real hope is that we’re able to break ground sometime in 2024 during our sesquicentennial. sometime during that year,” Coons said. “We still have a couple of hurdles to get over in terms of funding because we are not financing this project. It’s all philanthropic and resource-based differently than what we do on campus,” Coons added.

Long term, Coons said they intend to develop the facility into a larger set of innovation-type companies. They hope to bring in different types of activities that support what is happening on the venture’s campus.